I normalised my drinking. I never felt particularly out of control, I never got arrested, I never physically hurt anyone. It’s almost comical to look back now and see that what I once regarded as ‘normal’ was in fact just the calm at the eye of a storm.
One one level I felt very in control of what was happening. I exited to ignore what other people were saying to me, and I decided to go and buy wine, and most importantly I decided to pick up the glass. However, beyond this superficial calm, I was a swirl of emotions, I *knew* I shouldn’t be drinking as much, otherwise why did I avoid anyone who might contradict my habits? I could see I was having excessive over emotional responses to stressful situation. My inner turmoil was immense, and only fleetingly masked by a haze of alcohol and the sluggishness of being hungover, which became a cycle. In reality, what felt like calm, was a self medicating attempt to find peace and calm within myself, and alcohol was never going to fulfil that deeper emotional void.
Externally too there was a flurry of activity and consequences to my behaviour. I could see my husband was more and more emotionally distant. He was doing school runs, taking the kids to clubs, managing a house move, doing the weekly shop- basically everything as well as the emotional work of living with me. The children’s behaviour was not challenged and supported in the best way, and I fear I have caused damage to already delicate children who were extensively damaged by their own mother. Our home, instead of a haven of acceptance, tranquility and love became a place where tensions ran just ever so below the surface of family life, and it took very little for extreme behaviours to come to the surface. This isn’t normal, but all the time I was drinking I was protected from the reality of what I was helping to create. Dysfunction. Now I have the long path to recovery, not only for myself but also for my family.
The eye of storm might feel like calm, but it in reality it is anything but. I can only hope that being in this place has changed me for the better.